the patent office

With these two who I still believe have lived under a rock all of their lives—I know it’s not the case but their still present naiveté in some cases astounds me—I’ve come to expect the unexpected and all kind of questions about nothing and everything. So, when they came over for our shared supper with everyone but Zora present, and he asked to know more about patents, I was only happy to oblige him in the best way I knew how.

Of course I wasn’t exactly sure what had brought this up so I did ask him, he told me he’d heard someone muttering to himself while they’d been on their morning trek for fresh bread, about how he had to get to the patent office. It made sense.

Now I don’t know why but this whole patent thing is stuck in my head. I’ve lived long. Not half as long as Lex of course but I’ve lived long, I’ve seen things come and go, I’ve seen things change. I’ve seen people make money from stuff they’d made after they left the patent office. I don’t need money so I don’t know why I can’t let it out of my head.

Lex is flopped on the couch, it’s right under, or almost, the air conditioning unit. It’s the coolest place in the whole house. I don’t blame him for being here. We could almost let Adela roam free in this place today and she’d be clam-happy for how stifling it feels. I haven’t really dared to go and settle against him. He’s there for the cool and I’d only suffocate him with my own body heat if I did. Next best choice I have is what I do. I walk over, I settle on the floor next to the couch. I’m not far from the unit now and I feel the coolness settle. We usually can keep the ambient air in the house cool enough in the summer or so I’d like to believe but this heat wave is hard to believe.

He grunts softly at my presence and I can’t help the slightly worn chuckle. This heat is getting to all of us. It’s impossible to work on commissions at this point and he usually doesn’t offer any. His room is kept to fridge temperature, he essentially could but then the delivery makes it a very tricky offer, stuff melts so fast.

I shift and lean a little closer, just barely. Resting my cheek lightly, almost not, against his arm. He opens one eye, then the other and he looks down at me with that just barely questioning glance. We both know to not push the other too far in this temperature. We’re not usually badly temperamental but this is just bad weather.

The smile that finds my lips is slight, just barely present and I sigh as I straighten my head. “Remember last night, Yael asked me about patents and the patent office?”

He closes his eyes a moment and I think he might just ignore me, I wouldn’t blame him, but he opens them again and he nods before stretching with a low groan.

“I don’t know why but I keep on thinking about patents and about how many of the things we’ve essentially created over the years were never taken there. I mean, I don’t need the money and you don’t really either. Nothing of what goes through my mind in terms of creation would really be worth a patent either so I don’t get why my brain is stuck there.”

“It’s hot in here despite the air conditioning unit, Eoghan. I think all of our brains are a little short-circuited.”

I nod at his words and I sigh, straightening again slightly to look out to the window nearest us. The curtains are drawn but the sun is on the other side of the building at this point. I still imagine I’m staring outside and a soft flash of worry fills me.

“You think the twins and Armin are going to be all right coming home in this weather? I mean I’ve heard of tires popping in this heat.” It’s a heat wave like this city’s never experienced before, it has done in several elderly already. I can’t imagine that these three would be comfortable riding the over-heated bus and then walking home. “Maybe I should go and get them.”

He grunts again and I roll my eyes. He laughs quietly at my reaction and I can’t help but sigh. “If you want you can, I’m sure the car is a heat bomb though. It is black.”

“I was thinking of taking the one we keep in the garage.”

“The sporty?”

“Well, there is room for four even though there are only two doors but it is white and that’s the best colour at this point.”

There, he nods slightly and I feel maybe a bit of hope that I can spare our friends some terrible time out in the heat. “Guess it is an option. The AC words wonders in it too, I guess it’s not too bad an idea. Maybe you should call them to tell them you’ll be around by closing time to get them, yes?”

I nod, a little startled as I hadn’t thought of that. They could have walked right on by me without even seeing me while I’d wait to take them home, that would have been bad. “I will.”

The heat has claimed two more elderly victim by the time I get into the car. Though it is more during the afternoon and before I get into the car. The little walk from the shade of the house to the garage leaves me feeling as if I’ve spent my whole day out in this heat. I hope we’ll all manage some sleep tonight. Maybe we’ll all gather at Quentin and Yael’s for an hour or two, they have control over the heat in their pool and I bet it’s more refreshing than the furnace on the roof with our own.

I pull up to the library right as I spot the three of them just stepping outside. I wave them over. I step out so the twins can each get out on their own sides, slipping into the back of the cool car. I’ve been keeping the AC up to the roof and while it was almost chilly at one point, now it’ll be just comfortable. I keep a steady eye on Armin as he slips into the car, just to be sure he’s comfortable. Once the doors are all closed, the outside heat is forgotten for the moment and I see about driving us home.

The twins are too tired and worn from the heat to offer any discussion and I can only shake my head. I hope this heat wave passes soon.

“I was thinking, if Yael and Quentin agree to it, we could cross over a little before or after dinner and we could take a dip in their pool. Unlike ours, theirs is inside and they have some control over the temperature so it’s bound to be cooler.”

My words are met with little grunts and sighs and I think I’ll just let them think that one over for a moment. I’ll call in to Quentin once we’re back and see what he thinks of the offer. I’m sure if we were nice and cool inside, people might even appreciate some cat-therapy.

I pull up to our building and instead of going up to the side and straight to the garage, I briefly idle in front of the front door so they can all slip out and head inside where it is, at least, a little cooler. Armin slips out first, followed by Mira and Agni who almost tumble over one another. I laugh softly and wait until they’re inside before I drive into the driveway and up into the garage. I think a swim across the street might just do us a world of good.


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